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by Peter Guttridge
Speck Press, May 2005
252 pages
ISBN: 1933108002

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Nick Madrid is supposed to cover the Rock Against Drug Tour in South America. He is looking forward to this event, as he is a huge fan of Otis Barnes, one of the headlining musicians. Barnes was one of his father's favorite musicians and these memories still influence Madrid's life.

Unfortunately, this trip is not very peaceful for Madrid. Upon arriving in Leticia, Madrid and his friend Bridget Frost are kidnapped by terrorists. The terrorists are under the impression that Madrid's newspaper will pay their ransom; however, Madrid is a freelancer and he knows that the paper will pay nothing. Somehow, he and Frost escape from their kidnappers to join the fun of the tour.

The tour is not going well and it has not even begun. Otis Barnes seems to have kicked his drug habit, but he is still drinking more than he should. He in involved in a horrible relationship with the most popular singer in South America. If that relationship were to end, though, he would fall apart completely. To top it all off someone is sending Barnes death threats.

While Madrid would much rather not be involved at all, he always finds himself in the middle of any disaster. This time he decides to investigate the death threats and find any likely suspects. Madrid will then turn the suspects over to Barnes' head of security and let him handle them. As he should expect, life never works out the way he plans. While working on his reputation as the world's worst lover, he finds himself trying to stay alive. Unless Madrid can find out who wants Barnes dead, his own life will remain at risk.

TWO TO TANGO is a hilarious romp through the life of one unusual reporter. Nick Madrid practices yoga, is something of a wimp and is a horrible lover by his own admission. He is also snide and sarcastic. Yet Madrid is also one of the good guys. He worries about his friends when they get into trouble and when they make silly decisions.

To understand the people he tends to be associated with, all one needs to do is look at Bridget Frost. When they are kidnapped, she is more worried about her luggage than their escape. In fact, the only reason she is in South America is that she is looking to take advantage of the cheap prices and have some plastic surgery done. With friends like this, is it any wonder that Madrid manages to find himself in situation where someone wants to kill him?

TWO TO TANGO is the fifth book featuring Nick Madrid. The combination of interesting characters, unexpected situations and humor makes Peter Guttridge's books unforgettable. While his books seem silly at times, they are always entertaining. I hope that American audiences will embrace this series so these books will be easy to find and purchase.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, March 2005

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